Put Up or Shut Up

The world has changed.  Business has changed.  Websites, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, blogs and the like have enabled communications in ways not envisioned even a few years ago. 

As a businessperson, that is both good and bad for you.

On the “good” side of the ledger, information is more readily available than at any time in human history.  A few keystrokes typed into Google will yield a world of results for your perusal.

On the “bad” side, how can you judge these sources of information?

In an hour’s time, anyone can build a basic website, blog or Facebook page and proclaim that they are the “intergalactic leader” for any sort of product, service or technology.  High school book reports are generally required to contain more objective evidence than is found to support the claims of some companies on the “interweb”.

How will you judge the legitimacy of the source?

Here are the questions that I ask:

1. What is the most trusted brand in this particular category?

Generally one brand rises above all others because of a history of performance, innovation and reliability.

2. Who is the market leader in this particular area? 

Leaders are “first”, “largest”, “best” or “only”.  Followers imitate leaders, most often poorly.

3. How experienced is this company in their chosen field?  How does that level compare to the leader? 

Past performance is the best predictor of future performance.

 4. Is there more to this company than a virtual storefront?  Do they have an office?  A factory of their own? 

Virtual offices and contract warehouses raise serious credibility issues.

 5. Is this company innovative?  Are there any third parties or objective evidence to prove it? 

If the company truly ever did anything unique or noteworthy, proof would exist.

Claims are easy.  Proof is hard.

It’s time to put up or shut up.

Bryan Peters

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